Asus goes big with the cutting-edge Zenfone 11 Ultra

If you like your handsets small and powerful, you’re probably familiar with the Asus Zenfone lineup. But after defying all mobile industry trends in the last few years, the Taiwan-based PC specialist behind such compact devices as the 5.92-inch Zenfone 10 and 5.9-inch Zenfone 9 is today going big with the 6.78-inch Zenfone 11 Ultra.

Of course, the fact that this just-unveiled giant is not simply called the Asus Zenfone 11 gives us hope that a second, more easily maneuverable version might also be coming down the line. Until (or rather if) that happens, let’s see what this ultra-high-end new model is about and how similar it is to the gaming-centric ROG Phone 8 released only a couple of months ago.

A lot of screen, loads of power, and some very cool cameras

Since we’ve already brought the elephant in the room by mentioning the ROG Phone 8, let us quickly address the obvious “problem” with the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra. Yes, those two are basically the exact same product, with the Republic of Gamers logo, customizable RGB lighting, and fancy cooling technology removed from the “new” phone.

That certainly doesn’t make the Zenfone 11 Ultra feel very unique or revolutionary, but if you think about it, what Android phone released in the last… five years or so truly qualifies for those labels? Besides, it’s definitely no secret that ROG designs are not for everyone, while the ROG Phone 8‘s specs could well put a big smile on the faces of a lot of power users inside the more mainstream-focused Zenfone 11 Ultra.

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Said specifications include everything from a state-of-the-art Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor to a generous 12GB RAM count paired with a respectable 256 gigs of internal storage space, as well as a massive 5,500mAh battery equipped with both blazing fast 65W wired and decent 15W wireless charging capabilities.

Despite sporting an unremarkable (by ultra-high-end standards) resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, the extra-large 6.78-inch AMOLED display is also destined to turn heads and catch eyes with razor-thin bezels, a peak brightness of 2500 nits, and a dynamically adjustable refresh rate of between 1 and 120Hz (or 144Hz when gaming).

While Asus phones are not generally known for their otherworldly photography skills, the Zenfone 11 Ultra (like the ROG Phone 8) features a very impressive-sounding 50MP primary shooter with 6-axis Hybrid Gimbal Stabilizer 3.0 technology joined by a 32MP secondary 3x telephoto zoom camera and a 13MP tertiary ultra-wide-angle sensor on its back. 

It’s definitely too soon to tell, but this could be a very strong candidate for the title of best Android phone in 2024 when you take all of its specs and capabilities into consideration.

Is the pricing right?

That, our friends, is the million-dollar question you’ll need to answer for yourselves before deciding to go for a Zenfone 11 Ultra or a Galaxy S24 Ultra, for instance. At $899, this bad boy is unsurprisingly cheaper than that particular Samsung-made rival, but is it affordable enough to warrant your attention… and hard-earned cash?

Once again, that’s tough to say before we actually get our hands on a unit and verify its real-world photography prowess, as well as that 26-hour battery life claim. What works in the Zenfone 11 Ultra’s favor is that the ROG Phone 8 currently starts at a slightly higher $999.99.

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You also have until April 14 to secure an “early bird” ROG Cetra True Wireless Earbuds freebie, which is very nice, further improving an already solid value proposition. 

No pre-order gift, however, can change the fact that the OnePlus 12 just so happens to cost $900 too with not only more RAM and storage on deck but also a considerably brighter and higher-resolution 6.82-inch screen and three even greater rear-facing cameras.

Now that’s a rival Asus will probably need to undercut with an outright discount of some sort if it wants to find mainstream success in the US. By the way, the Zenfone 11 Ultra is available in an unlocked variant compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile but not Verizon, which is another little detail likely to upset potential buyers far more than the handset’s similarities with the ROG Phone 8.

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